David Wenham

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David Wenham
David Wenham 2014 (cropped).jpg
Wenham at the premiere of the film The Turning at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival
Born (1965-09-21) 21 September 1965 (age 56)
Years active1987–present
Partner(s)Kate Agnew (1994–present)

David Wenham (born 21 September 1965) is an Australian actor who has appeared in movies, television series and theatre productions. He is known in Hollywood for his roles as Faramir in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Friar Carl in Van Helsing, Dilios in 300 and its sequel 300: Rise of an Empire, Al Parker in Top of the Lake, and Lieutenant John Scarfield in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. He is known in his native Australia for his role as Diver Dan in SeaChange.

Early life[edit]

Wenham was born in Marrickville, New South Wales, the son of Kath and Bill Wenham. He has five older sisters; Helen, Anne, Carmel, Kathryn, and Maree; and one older brother, Peter. He was raised in the Roman Catholic faith and attended Christian Brothers' High School, Lewisham, Sydney.[1][2]


Wenham started his career as an actor after graduating from Theatre Nepean at the University of Western Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts (Performing Arts) in 1987.[3] Wenham's television credits include several telemovies, such as his AFI award-winning role in the 1997 telemovie Simone de Beauvoir's Babies; and his role as the outwardly laid back but deeply enigmatic diver Dan Della Bosca in the 1998 and 1999 seasons of the highly successful ABC television series SeaChange. His role as "Diver Dan" has made the actor something of a sex symbol, although he dislikes thinking of himself as such,[4] and he has been voted Australia's "sexiest man alive".[5] A portrait of Wenham by artist Adam Cullen won the Archibald Prize in 2000.[6][7]

Australian films Wenham has starred in include the critically acclaimed The Boys (1998) based on the play of the same name premiered at Griffin Theatre Company and in turn based on the murder of Anita Cobby; Molokai (1999), based on the life of Father Damien; The Bank (2001); Gettin' Square (2003); Stiff (2004); The Brush Off (2004) and Three Dollars (2005). Wenham has periodically appeared in Hollywood films; he is known for playing Faramir, son of Denethor II, in New Line Cinema's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

He was seen in Van Helsing playing Hugh Jackman's sidekick, Friar Carl. His character, Dilios, narrated and appeared in the movie 300. Minor roles of Wenham's in overseas films include in The Crocodile Hunter as a park ranger, and briefly in Moulin Rouge! as Audrey. Wenham stars in the music video for Alex Lloyd's single "Brand New Day". In 2008's Australia, he reunited with Hugh Jackman playing antagonist Neil Fletcher.

In both Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and 300, Wenham's character is the sole survivor returned from an ill-fated battle (the Battle at Osgiliath and the Battle of Thermopylae, respectively). He reprises his role of Dilios in both the 2014 sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire and the video game, 300: March to Glory for Sony PlayStation Portable, which contains a substantial amount of new dialogue.

In 2009, he appeared in Public Enemies as one of John Dillinger’s men. He also return to the stage, this time as the lead actor, Jerry Springer, in the British musical Jerry Springer: The Opera. During its 6-day run at the Sydney Opera House he played in sold-out performances alongside ARIA award-winning singer Kate Miller-Heidke.[8]

In 2010 he played the character 'Len' in the Australian drama film Oranges and Sunshine. Also in 2010, Wenham starred as the disgraced Melbourne lawyer Andrew Fraser in the Australian TV series Killing Time. This ten-part series shows Fraser's fall from grace as he defends many Melbourne criminals during the 1980s and 1990s. It was shown on TV1 in late 2011.

Wenham plays New Zealand detective Al Parker[9] alongside Elisabeth Moss[10] in the 2013 BBC series Top of the Lake.

In 2013, Wenham returned to the stage to play the lead role of John Proctor, in the Melbourne Theatre Company's mid-year production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible.

In 2014, Wenham starred as Patrick Jones in Paper Planes, released on 15 January 2015. That same year, Wenham voiced the role Jacko a frilled-neck lizard, in Blinky Bill the Movie. In 2016, Wenham played the role of John, the adoptive father of Saroo Brierley in Lion.

Wenham played the role of the villain Harold Meachum in the Netflix original TV series Iron Fist, which premiered in March 2017.[11]

In 2018, Wenham plays the voice of Johnny Town-Mouse in Peter Rabbit and the sequel Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.

In May 2020, it was announced that Wenham was cast as Jasper Queller in the upcoming Netflix thriller series Pieces of Her, which is adapted from the Karin Slaughter novel of the same name.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Wenham has two daughters with his longtime partner, Kate Agnew.[13]

He read a poem by Rupert McCall at the memorial service for Steve Irwin. The poem was entitled "The Crocodiles are Crying".[14]

Wenham is a Sydney Swans supporter.[15]



Year Title Role Notes
1992 Greenkeeping Trevor
Seeing Red Frank
1994 Gino Trevor
Tran the Man Raymond "Tran" Moss Short film
No Escape Hotel Guard No. 2
1995 Roses Are Red Brian
1996 Cosi Doug
Idiot Box Bank Teller
1998 The Boys Brett Sprague
Dark City Schreber's Assistant
A Little Bit of Soul Richard Shorkinghorn
1999 Molokai: The Story of Father Damien Father Damien
2000 Better Than Sex Josh
2001 Russian Doll Ethan
Moulin Rouge! Audrey
The Bank Jim Doyle
Dust Luke
2002 The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course Sam Flynn
Pure Lenny
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Faramir
2003 Gettin' Square Johnny Spitieri
Basilisk Stare Dave
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Faramir
2004 Van Helsing Friar Carl
Van Helsing: The London Assignment
2005 Three Dollars Eddie Harnovey
The Proposition Eden Fletcher
2007 300 Dilios
2008 Married Life John O'Brien
The Children of Huang Shi Barnes
Australia Neil Fletcher
2009 Public Enemies Harry Pierpont
Pope Joan Gerold
2010 Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Digger (voice)
Oranges and Sunshine Len
2014 300: Rise of an Empire Dilios
2015 Paper Planes Patrick
Blinky Bill the Movie Jacko (voice)
Force of Destiny Robert Filming
2016 Goldstone Johnny
Lion John Brierley
2017 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales[16] Lieutenant John Scarfield
Ellipsis - Director
2018 Peter Rabbit Johnny Town-Mouse (voice)
In Like Flynn Christian Travers
2019 Dirt Music Jim Buckridge
2021 Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway Johnny Town-Mouse (voice)
2022 Elvis Hank Snow Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1987 A Country Practice Ambulanceman 1 Episode: "Mozart Rules – Part 1"
Sons and Daughters Debt Collector Episode: "#1.954"
1988 A Country Practice Scott Galbraith 2 episodes
1990 Come In Spinner Australian soldier Mini-series
1991 Police Rescue Ferret Episode: "The Cosmic Lightbeam"
1992 A Country Practice David Cornish 2 episodes
1994 Blue Heelers William Cassidy Episode: "The Folly of Youth"
1996 Blue Heelers Robbie Doyle Episode: "Happy Families"
1997 Simone de Beauvoir's Babies Ian all 4 episodes
Return to Jupiter Dr Ghrobak 2 episodes
1998–1999 SeaChange Dan Della Bosca 15 episodes
2004 The Brush-Off Murray Whelan Telemovie
2006 Answered by Fire Mark Waldman Two-part mini-series
2009 Deadliest Warrior Narrator Credited as "Drew Skye"
2011 Killing Time Andrew Fraser 10 episodes
2012 Dripping in Chocolate Bennett O'Mara
2013, 2017 Top of the Lake Al Parker 7 episodes
2013 Better Man Julian McMahon 4 episodes
2014 The Code Ian Bradley 6 episodes
2015 Banished Captain Arthur Phillip, 1st Governor of New South Wales
2015 Who Do You Think You Are? Himself Series 7, Episode 4
2017 Iron Fist Harold Meachum 10 episodes
2018 Romper Stomper Jago Zoric 6 episodes
2019 Les Norton Price Galese 10 episodes
2020 The Letter for the King Sir Tiuri the Valiant 1 episodes
2021 Pieces of Her Jasper Queller[17] Main cast

Video game[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2007 300: March to Glory Dilios, Narrator

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "Spittin' image". The Age. Melbourne. 5 October 2003.
  2. ^ Fr Damien role is 'uplifting' – actor Archived 3 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Mendelssohn, Joanna (13 February 2008). "Want to go to art school? Don't live in Western Sydney". Crikey. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  4. ^ Field, Melissa (1 April 2007). "The star of David". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 14 October 2007.
  5. ^ "David Wenham AgeOfTheRing Biography".
  6. ^ "Biography". David Wenham appreciation site. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  7. ^ Edmond, Martin (30 September 2014). "Declivities and eminences". Sydney Review of Books. Writing and Society Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Jerry Springer: The Opera" by Elissa Blake, The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 April 2009
  9. ^ "Entertainment: Top of the Lake". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Mad Woman, Bad Girl". New York Post. 8 March 2012. Archived from the original on 9 March 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  11. ^ Opam, Kwame. "6 problems that make Iron Fist so frustrating". TheVerge.com. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  12. ^ Groves, Don (21 May 2020). "David Wenham cast in Netflix thriller with Toni Collette, Bella Heathcote". IF. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  13. ^ David Wenham – Yahoo! TV Archived 25 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ The Crocodile Hunter: A Tribute to Steve Irwin at IMDb
  15. ^ "Kidman heads army of Swans 'true believers'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 March 2005.
  16. ^ Jenah Paclibar Sep 19, 2015 10:02 AM (19 September 2015). "Pirates of the Caribbean 5 movie news: Orlando Bloom reprises role as Will Turner as franchise goes back to its roots". Vinereport.com. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  17. ^ Groves, Don (21 May 2020). "David Wenham cast in Netflix thriller with Toni Collette, Bella Heathcote". IF. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  18. ^ a b "Past Winners, Television 1986–2006" (PDF). AFI Television Awards. Australian Film Institute. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 November 2007.

External links[edit]